Of interest during the recent news flurry regarding Provenge was finding most of the information about the FDA approval and the drug in the financial, not health or medical sections of news sources. The biggest news seemed to be the impact of the drug’s approval on Dendreon’s bottom line, not the limited benefit of a very expensive drg.
Continuing the theme that profits trump health care is the piece in The Economist bemoaning the pressure the new health reform bill puts on insurers.
The insurance industry, meanwhile, is in a fighting mood about another measure that cuts deep into its profits. A “medical loss ratio” (MLR) provision in the new law dictates that insurers spend most of the money they earn from premiums (at least 85% in the case of group policies) on actual medical costs, rather than administrative overheads or fat-cat salaries.
Medicynical Note: Imagine having more concern about health care than profits. Revolutionary!